Chimera

Chimera 25.98

Free
Analyzes molecular structures and related data
Generates high-quality images and animations, from where data can be analyzed, data like sequence alignments, docking results, trajectories, etc. There are several features that bring extra content, for example, the Multalign Viewer feature, that has the function of displaying individual sequences and multiple sequence alignments.

Developed by the highly reputed University of California at San Francisco, Chimera is a software program created to suffice the needs of academic users, nonprofit organizations or dedicated individuals. Thanks to this software tool, they can perform interactive visualizations, analyze molecular structures, sequence alignments and docking results.

The program has a straightforward installation process that can easily be completed by any individual with minimal computing skills. Its GUI is far from impressive, but it is well-optimized and it provides great stability and responsiveness. However, there are very few customization options for its appearance and the main menu definitely lacks some colors. Also, the main menu content, despite its variety, seems overcrowded.

About its capabilities. Chimera has several tutorials and vast documentation, which are available for free for anyone who wants to better understand its features. Speaking about features, the program allows users to generate high-quality images and animations along with a sequence viewer that is able to locate, view, and edit sequence alignments. Moreover, it is equipped with a tool called Pipes and Planks that shows protein helices as "pipes" and strands as "planks", with connectors for the intervening coil.

All in all, Chimera is a complex software tool, equipped with various features, but it requires a chemistry background in order to fully understand and use its features.

John Saunders
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • A simple installation process
  • Comes with the Pipes and Planks feature
  • Offers great stability and responsiveness
  • Lots of tutorials

Cons

  • The menu content looks overcrowded
  • Very few customization options
  • Lacks skin themes
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